I’m done with Black men romantically.
I sat staring at a blank Word document for several minutes while skipping through Pandora songs and trying to figure out how I wanted to start this piece. A friend of mine suggested, “Black love is an oxymoron,” and although I agree, I didn’t necessarily want to start with that. Then, it occurred to me that the easiest way to say something is just to say it.
Before I get into the guts of this entry, I want to make a few disclaimers.
No, this has nothing to do with my divorce. Many of my friends can attest to the fact that for at least the last three years, I’ve said that if I ever ended up single again, I wouldn’t consider re-marrying to a Black man.
No, you’re not going to hear some hood tale about how I have 10 half- brothers and half-sisters all across the metropolitan area that I’ve never met or that I grew up with absolutely no male presence and therefore have some Black man-sized hole in my heart.
Thirdly, I know that not every single Black man on the planet is a completely undateable, low-achieving, unchivalrous, pathological liar/cheater with babies all over the place. So there’s absolutely no need to respond to this post with any variation of “not all” unless you’re trying to convince yourself of that. In which case, stand in front of your bathroom mirror and say it 100 times until you believe it, it has worked its way out of your system, or Bloody Mary shows up and takes you away.
Fourthly, I know that there are men of all races who consistently show us they ain’t shit. No need to remind me of that either.
Lastly, I suggest you read the hyperlinks and screenshots that are placed throughout this entry before you kneejerk yourself into arthroscopic surgery.
Now that that’s out of the way, some background. My grandfather died in 2015. It wasn’t sudden but of all the men I knew, Black men in particular, I considered him a great example of manhood. He had one wife, my grandmother. His ONLY children were by the woman he married, my grandmother. He worked and made sure they had a roof over their head, food in the refrigerator, transportation, and made sure the utilities stayed active. He had very little vices and didn’t throw his money away. I never grew up with stories about how he was a rolling stone and I may have three other uncles and an aunt on the other side of town somewhere. He had a lot of dignity. He had a lot of honor. He was respectable.
I was well into my marriage when I realized that, as far as Black men go, that kind of excellence, en masse, would be seen no more. Was it the profusion of webpages, YouTube channels, Facebook statuses and Tweets from Black men verbally abusing, advocating for the harm or murder of, and otherwise being wretched towards Black women? Was it #theothers that Black men used to express their desire to only date non-Black or half-Black women because they were more (fill in the blank because to be quite honest, after a few conversations about it, I’m still not sure what the fuck they were getting at)?
Perhaps it was the graphics and hood “artwork” that insisted that Black women are unsupportive of Black men even though every time one of them gets molly whopped by the police, it is overwhelmingly Black women who organize, march and even go to jail for them while Black men scoffed and ridiculed Sandra Bland who was brutalized and eventually lost her life for actually no reason (yeah, I went there). Or was it when any positive press about Black women and our accomplishments was released, there always managed to be a least 10 Black men in the comments noting that “just because” we achieved what they haven’t, that “doesn’t make” us valuable…to them? Was it the countless videos of Black men harassing Black women or watching their brethren harass and harm Black women and standing idly by laughing?
Maybe it was Black men dehumanizing us because of our hair, skin tone, physical shape, make-up choices, clothing choices, etc…and telling us no other man would want us but them (aka emotional and verbal abuse); then when we start to date white or other men, calling us “Negro bed wenches” who were being used by the white man like back during slavery while Black men dive headlong into every non-Black vagina that’s open for business. Perchance, it’s because they are the only men I’ve seen call a woman a “gold-digging hoe” because she expects the man to pay for dates (yet, they never make enough money to have sterling silver, let alone gold, to dig). Let’s not forget their desire for June Cleaver without even the wherewithal to be Ward.
Maybe it was the fact that in the last five quarters, I know at least six Black women in my age group (not including myself) who have divorced due to their husbands cheating, lying, disappearing, engaging in financial fuckery, being “on the DL,” or plainly being emotionally unavailable assholes.
Conceivably, it’s because they regularly shrug off the rates of child molestation amongst Black girls by Black men or call the little girls liars or insist that the little girls purposely “entice” men to violate them. They do the same with intimate partner violence rates among Black women.
It could be because they seem to be the only men who are old enough to shave every day but think the women of their ethnic group are the ones responsible to clothe, feed, house, ride AND die, and freedom fight for them plus procreate, raise their children and go half on bills. It may be because they are the only group of men I’ve ever heard talk about having multiple simultaneous sexual relationships with women as if that’s not pathological behavior. Or, it’s because they are the only group of men I’ve seen collectively blame everything they didn’t manage to accomplish on the women of their own ethnic group or white men.
I can’t point to one specific thing, but I know that I do not believe in #BlackLove anymore. Several empirical studies have been done on Black relationships and they all point to one major conclusion: outside of making more Black people, there is no real benefit for Black women to couple with Black men. I think this is a simple cost-benefit analysis. In other words, are they worth the effort it takes to try build a viable relationship with them? You can answer that question for yourself but remember when I said to read the hyperlinks.
Over and over again, Black men have failed to establish a standard of care for the women who birth them, feed them, house them, bail them out of jail, work 2+ jobs to materially support them, birth and raise their children, and the biggest of all: forgive them and remain loyal to them, even foolishly so, to the end. As a Black woman, I’ve developed friendships with several other Black women and the consensus is that, when in a relationship with a Black man, a significant amount of time is spent waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even the older Black women who chose, for whatever reason, to stay with their Black men will often express that they can’t and don’t trust him because of his history.
A couple of years back, Black men said that “white girls are winning” as a way to taunt Black women. It turns out that white girls are winning because they aren’t messing with Black men at the same rates as Black women are.
Being the swami that I am, I already know all the rebuttals.
“Where are these men you are meeting?” In your state, city, and living room, sir.
“I don’t know any men like that.” You’re lying, sir. As a matter of fact, you’re probably one of the “men like that.”
“You’re choosing the wrong men.” Well, sir, given the male penchant for, um, impersonation, that may have merit. It also has merit when you’re ranting on Iyanla about how some Black woman 15 years ago didn’t return your phone call and therefore you needed a life coach to fix yo’ life on national television. But you want to guess what all the men that were “chosen” have in common, sir? Basically, when Black women choose better men…I’m sure you can figure that one out for yourself, sir.
The thing is, I’ve dated the spectrum. College-educated, blue-collar, white-collar, American, non-American; it doesn’t seem to matter at all. How far down into a pile of maggots is one to dig to locate the grain of rice?
“It’s because of systemic racism that we, Black men, can’t get ahead.” Sir, we are Black and women. Double whammy. Yet, somehow, we manage to push forward without being complete terrors to our communities and pick up everybody’s slack in the process. Why the men, the KANGZ, who demand unquestioning submission and a permanent smile can’t do the same, I don’t know.
“It goes both ways.” Sir, I’ll just let one of my Facebook friends answer this one for you:
This blog has become past brief but before I hop off, I want to share an anecdote. Saturday night, I was scheduled to meet with three male friends to conduct some business. I was the first to arrive. When I pulled up to the building, there were probably 8 Black men standing around outside. Most of them were smoking and they were talking to each other. I instantly froze up. When I was in undergrad, I had a friend (Black) who said she was afraid of Black men. At the time, I thought she was weird. But age and experience….Anyway, I waited in my car until two of my male friends pulled up so that I wouldn’t have to directly interact with the men who were standing around outside. This was probably the clearest portent that finalized my decision. The thought that I automatically expected the worst behavior from them unto fear, was my confirmation that I’ve made the right choice for myself.
Those of you reading are free to do what you want to do but I’ve never been a gambler, and if I have to play, I’m going to play to win.